Olson Lab

Department of Life Sciences, The Natural History Museum, London SW7 5BD United Kingdom

Hymenolepis microstoma genome to be sequenced by Sanger!

Discussions with Matthew Berrimen (Sanger Centre, Hinxton, UK) and Klaus Brehm at the British Society of Parasitology spring conference (April 2009) in Edinburgh, UK, have led to an agreement to sequence the genome of Hymenolepis!

The Helminth Genome Centre at Sanger is now finalizing the Echinococcus genome and transcriptome, which are based on specimens from the model Klaus maintains in his lab in southern Germany. Thanks to next generation sequencing, Matt has agreed to use ‘down time’ to sequence the next obvious choice among groups of tapeworms, Hymenolepis, species of which have served as laboratory models since the 1950s and continue to provide a low maintenance system for access to strobilar (ie. adult) stages in the laboratory.

We will be preparing high-quality genomic DNA of an inbred strain of Hymenolepis microstoma that was started from a seed culture gifted to us from the laboratory of Jerzy Behnke in Nottingham, UK. Jerzy’s culture came (if I’m not mistaken) from Jorn Andreassen in Coppenhagen, who in turn is likely to have got his seed culture from the Clark Reid lab in the USA which was one of, if not the original, labs to culture these rodent-hosted species for research purposes (most of our understanding of cestode physiology and biochemistry comes from work on Hymenolepis species). I will be investigating the pedigree of this strain further...

Watch this space for updates on sequencing the Hymenolepis microstoma genome!